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Marion LaDeanne Jeffcoat Smith
(December 12, 1936 - July 31, 2014)

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Marion LaDeanne Jeffcoat Smith

Funeral services for Marion LaDeanne Jeffcoat Smith, 77, of Palestine, will be held 10:00 AM Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at Bailey & Foster Chapel with Rev. Roger Clayton and Bro. Michael Midkiff officiating. Burial will follow in Holly Springs Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Bailey & Foster. Marion LaDeanne Jefffcoat Smith passed away Thursday, July 31, 2014 at Cartmell Home for the Aged. She was born in Palestine, December 12, 1936, to Idella Lorena Kimbrough and Carlton Leslie Jeffcoat. She attended Montalba and Palestine Schools, graduated from Palestine High School in 1955 and went on to attend Sam Houston State Teachers College where she majored in Journalism. She married Charles Donald “Donnie” Smith December 23, 1957 at Holmes Chapel United Methodist Church in Palestine, which is where they met as members of the Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF). She followed her husband as an Air Force wife to Montana, then to Carswell AFB, Ft. Worth, Tx., where their first child, Sherrill Lynn was born. They returned to Palestine after Donnie left the Air Force. LaDeanne’s career in Journalism began as the Women’s Editor at the Palestine Herald Press, when it was located in the “Old” Building on Avenue A. She worked for the Hamiltons’ and Wayne Sellers, and along side of journalists Ernest “Bones” Jones, Walter Murray and James Mullenax. She also worked with Alex Kobar, Sandra Ham and Mary Sloan. LaDeanne and Donnie were members of Holmes Chapel United Methodist Church where they served as Youth Directors of the MYF. In 1970, they were blessed with a son, Carlton William. In 1971 Donnie re-entered the Air force. His assignments carried the family to Abilene, Tx., Bossier City, La., and Tampa, Fl. In 1977, while Donnie was assigned to Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, LaDeanne and her children returned to Palestine where she would become the Community Editor for the Herald Press. She enjoyed writing about the people and places of Palestine and Anderson County. She would always have a local feature story in every Sunday edition full of local names and history. It was very important to her to connect her stories to the backgrounds of Palestine residents and their ancestors. In 1979, she took the job as editor of Houston County Courier in Crockett, where the importance of local news remained her goal. She was always attending City Hall and School Board meetings, covering election returns and anything else of interest to the citizens of Crockett and Houston County. She enjoyed column writing, beginning the local feature “Our Town” in the Herald Press and was known for her column “Patchwork” in the Houston County Courier. In 1981, her husband Donnie received military orders to Sembach AFB in Germany, where she and their children accompanied him until his retirement in 1983. While there, they enjoyed the sights and culture of Germany and visited Paris, France. Upon their return to Palestine, she worked for Memorial Hospital, before returning back to the Palestine Herald Press. In 1991, LaDeanne returned to the Houston County Courier as news editor, and Donnie was an advertising salesperson. She retired as the Managing Editor in 2001. And once again, returned “Home” to Palestine, where she wrote her “Senior Moments” column in the Herald Press as a free lance writer. LaDeanne was active in the Noon Business and Professional Womens Club, the Pilot Club in Crockett, the UMW at Westwood Methodist Church, Reporter for the Anderson County Historical Commission and attended the Montalba Red Hatters Club. She was a former member of the First United Methodist Church of Crockett, and a current member of Westwood United Methodist Church in Palestine, her faith in God was very strong. Her hobbies included needlework, reading non-fiction, scrabble, writing, and going on Sunday drives throughout East Texas to enjoy its beauty. She was preceded in death by her parents, step-fathers W. Herman Brumley and Miles Evans, and brothers-in-law Harlin Midkiff and Kenneth W. Smith. She is survived by her husband of 56 years and 7 months, Charles “Donnie” Smith, daughter Sherrill Funderburg and husband Murry, son Carl and wife Beth, sisters; Joan Milam and husband Gerald, Rita Swanson and husband Don, Lynn Ludlam and husband Bill, Beth Freeman and husband Fred, Lynda Allen and husband Dennis, brothers; Joel Brumley and wife Jane, Buddy Brumley and wife Marilyn, Allen Brumley and wife Doris, Bob Ammons and wife Evelyn, sister-in-law Ruby Smith, granddaughters Konnor and Kenedy Smith of Ohio, and numerous nieces and nephews. Pallbearers will be Paul Smith, Joel Brumley Jr., Butch Collier, Al Lightfoot, James Ray Ives, and Craig Nivens. Honorary pallbearer is Marvin Alvis Jeffcoat of Belmead. The family would like to extend thanks to the caregivers and staffs of Cartmell Home for the Aged, Solaris Hospice and Trucare Living Center. Condolence calls will be received from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at Bailey & Foster Palestine.

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